May 18, 2015
LAFC hopes to build on Sports Arena site
Los Angeles Football Club announced on Monday its intent to build a new state-of-the-art soccer stadium in South Los Angeles, at the site of the Los Angeles Sports Arena right next to the Coliseum.
|An aerial view of the planned LAFC stadium next to the Coliseum.
Photo courtesy of LACF/Gensler
The new development, which will bring $250 million in private investments to South Los Angeles, will be anchored by a new 22,000-seat soccer-specific venue. The project, designed by LA-based architectural firm Gensler, will also include over 100,000 sq. ft. of new restaurants, office space, a conference center and a soccer museum.
“We are committed to making our home in South Los Angeles and to be part of the phenomenal development happening along the Figueroa corridor that extends to downtown Los Angeles,” said Henry Nguyen, head of the Los Angeles Football Club’s ownership group.
The club says its goal is to have the new facility in place for the 2018 Major League Soccer season when the Club will launch its inaugural season. The stadium will have the latest state-of-the-art technologies and facilities for players and fans
LAFC says the new project has the strong support of local officials who are hoping to give a much needed economic boost to the area around the arena and the surrounding communities.
“ I know this ownership group is committed to representing the best our city has to offer," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "And I’m especially pleased that this proposed state-of-the-art stadium will be located in South Los Angeles to help revive that neighborhood and bring more jobs and opportunity for our residents. I look forward to celebrating the inaugural season and soon the MLS Cup in the City of Los Angeles.”
South Los Angeles has poverty and unemployment rates well above the city average. LAFC says the construction of the new stadium will include a one-time economic activity of more than $275 million and over 1,200 new union and non-union jobs. Additionally, the clubs says net new impacts from annual operations of the new stadium are estimated to generate more than $129 million in new economic activity, create more than 1,800 full-time jobs, and produce $2.5 million in annual tax revenue.
“This project is a tremendous gain for our community that will bring lasting benefits for our local economy including adding thousands of new local jobs and spurring new economic development opportunities for the district I represent - and all of Los Angeles,” said Councilman Curren Price, who represents the Sports Arena and surrounding South LA community.
The Club also hopes that the project serves as a catalyst for additional investment in South Los Angeles, an area racked by high unemployment and poverty.
With tight deadlines remaining to get a final deal in place Councilman Price will bring the matter before City Council President Herb Wesson and his colleagues on the City Council and will be calling on them to act quickly to complete environmental reviews, entitlements and infrastructure investment to make the project feasible at this location.
While the Coliseum Commission has announced their support for the proposal, the final deal is contingent upon all parties meeting a series of benchmarks by the end of July. The project will require a significant amount of infrastructure and environmental abatement. The Los Angeles Football Club does intend to have discussions with the City and State to identify funding opportunities that the project will be qualified for under their guidelines. These discussions will begin in the future. The team says no money from the City’s general fund will be used for this project.
The Club’s owners also announced a preliminary agreement with the University of Southern California, which is responsible for managing the Sports Arena site.
“On behalf of the university, I’m excited about the new soccer stadium project from the Los Angeles Football Club,” said Todd R. Dickey, senior vice president for administration at USC. "We are pleased that the Sports Arena will be redeveloped to become the home for Los Angeles' next major professional sports team."
The Coliseum Commission has also agreed to hold a public hearing to commence its review process for the proposed stadium later this month.